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Eighty Years Ago

Eighty years ago, the world looked a little different. It also looked the same.

Young people married. My parents exchanged vows Sept 10, 1936.

Young ┬ácouples worked. Dad was a farmer. They rented a place. Later they bought another. Worked the land with horse power — the kind that ate hay and furnished fertilizer. Pumped water with wind power. Kept house without electricity.

Times changed. Inventions became available to less populated, rural areas. Children were born. Houses and farms were bought and sold. A job with the post office furnished the bulk of financial stability. Travel became more comfortable. And faster.

By the time the marriage ended (with the death of my father) it was sixty four years, ten months, and twenty three days later. They lived in a house in a small town with an oil furnace and air conditioning. An automobile and riding lawn mower occupied the garage.  The water well pump was electric and low maintenance.

Times changed. People stayed the same — living a life of honest work, kindness to neighbors, and tolerance to those unlike them.

On this day I feel we could do well to do the same – regardless of the number of “gadgets” or dollars in our bank account.

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Fairy Tale Setting

A castle in the English countryside. Strong defenses are not required since most of the wars are over — but a nice drawbridge and moat will keep the riff-raff at bay.

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The castle fell into dis-repair some generations after the most famous daughters called this “home”. An American millionaire restored much, expanded the gardens, and installed tourist worthy sights.

Fans and authors of historical romance should be able to build a story, invent a family, and a happy ending for either a son or daughter raised in such pleasant surroundings.

I ask one thing of the authors taking up the challenge above. Please have it end better for your heroine than it did for Anne Boleyn. (This is Hever Castle, her childhood home.)

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Retired with Dignity

The camera was a pre-wedding gift from the groom. At times I like to think it was in lieu of the diamond ring he couldn’t afford. It certainly saw a lot of use through the years.

At first it was the only camera. And mother took clear outdoor photos. She was fussy about where her subjects stood in relation to the light and selected backgrounds with interest — lilac bushes, porches, or everyday farm items.

Twenty years into the marriage the camera was joined by newer technology. Dad gave mother a “flash camera”. The photo album now had indoor photos – family beside the Christmas tree was a favorite topic – alongside the photos of summer visitors taken outside with the dependable, older model.

Time continued to pass. Technology continued to progress. No longer was the film used in both cameras popular and easy to find at any corner drug store. The mail order labs stopped processing exposed “Verichrome Pan 620”.

In the early 1990’s I gifted my mother a roll of film and processing from Kodak (the only lab still accepting the film at that time). She appreciated it, took a complete roll of quality photos. And asked me not to repeat the gift.

My fingers are too stiff. I had a difficult time loading and advancing the film.

The camera went into retirement. Into the plain case, next to the instruction booklet. Exactly as it was gifted in 1936.

Thanks for the Memories
Thanks for the Memories